Gentle Shepherd Blog

Our team at Gentle Shepherd Hospice wants you to have the practical information you need to make the most of every day. Check out these helpful articles and devotionals written by Kim Eckenroth our co-founder and VP of patient care.

A doctor’s visit after a fall

A doctor’s visit after a fall

A surprising number of conditions, from simple to serious, can cause an older adult to fall. If you observed the fall or arrived soon after, find out if your loved one had a warning or felt dizzy beforehand. Any chance he or she fainted? Was the fall from stumbling on...

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What is MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment)?

What is MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment)?

"Senior moments" are a normal part of aging. They happen to everyone. We just don't process things as quickly as we did in younger years. Some people develop significant memory and thinking problems. These people are eventually unable to live safely on their own....

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If Mom is afraid of falling again

If Mom is afraid of falling again

Many older adults who have fallen believe it is best to "stay safe" and avoid falling again by restricting their activities. Unfortunately, that's the worst thing they can do! Inactivity is a path to reduced strength and mobility, which increases the risk of a fall...

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When caregiving ends: Emotions

When caregiving ends: Emotions

Waves of emotionsWhen a person you've been caring for dies, you are likely to have many feelings. Sometimes conflicting feelings. You may find that emotions wash over you unexpectedly, arising suddenly like a wave, and then subside. This is a normal part of life after...

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How Parkinson’s affects communication

How Parkinson’s affects communication

If the person you care for has Parkinson's, you may be surprised to discover the many ways the disease hampers communication. Voice problems alone affect 60%-80% of people with this condition. Low volume and slurred speech may make it hard at times for you to grasp...

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Genetic testing for Alzheimer’s

Genetic testing for Alzheimer’s

These days, most everyone is wondering if they are likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. If someone in your immediate family has been diagnosed with the disease, you might feel at especially high risk. There is a test for an Alzheimer's gene (APOE4). But it's not...

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Start a safe walking routine

Start a safe walking routine

Walking for exercise is recommended for every phase of life! Walking is the easiest physical activity to engage in, and it brings multiple benefits. The ability to get around readily is often the deciding factor in whether an older adult can stay living at home. Many...

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Bad news

Bad news

If a person you care for receives a serious diagnosis, it can feel like a gut punch—for everyone in the family. There is no way to sugarcoat such a reality. There are ways, however, to make the emotional journey less traumatic. Grief AND joyEven if your loved one has...

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Personal emergency response systems

Personal emergency response systems

A personal emergency response system (PERS) can provide peace of mind if the person you care for lives alone. There are many factors to consider when shopping for a device. The need for a personal call button. Is your loved one at risk of a fall or heart attack? If...

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Beating the Heat

Beating the Heat

A Heat Advisory has been issued and extremely high temperatures and humidity are expected throughout the weekend. These conditions pose serious threats to the elderly and seriously ill. As we continue to monitor the needs of our patients, here are a couple articles to...

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“Lie to my mom?”

“Lie to my mom?”

Mom taught you to always tell the truth. But in the context of caring for someone with memory loss (dementia), honesty may not always be the best policy. There may be times when the kindest strategy—the one that reduces your loved one's anxiety or fear—is to omit the...

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What to do with their stuff?

What to do with their stuff?

Perhaps your loved one is downsizing. Or maybe planning a move to assisted living or a nursing home. He or she may even have passed away… If you find yourself needing to pack up a relative’s belongings, start by sorting them into five categories: items to keepitems to...

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